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Cardiovascular disease

Analysis and Comment (23)

Low to moderate consumption of alcohol increases your risk of cancer but reduces your risk of heart disease. Low to moderate consumption of alcohol increases your risk of cancer but reduces your risk of heart disease. giannisl/Flickr

How much alcohol is OK? Balancing risks and benefits

For many of us, alcohol is an enjoyable backdrop to life: wine with dinner, beers with friends, a glass of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion, or nip of something heavier to unwind after a long day…
We’re consuming more salt than just what we add to food during cooking. We’re consuming more salt than just what we add to food during cooking. Rachel/Flickr (resized)

There’s more hidden salt in your diet than you think

Most of the salt consumed in Australia is already hidden in processed foods and meals, but there are some simple steps you can take to avoid eating too much of this palatable seasoning. High salt intake…
Physical activity is a key driver in lowering mortality rates from cardiovascular disease. Physical activity is a key driver in lowering mortality rates from cardiovascular disease. Mike Baird

Cardiovascular disease declines in rich countries but poor countries suffer more

A new Global Cardiovascular Disease Atlas shows that rates of cardiovascular disease are falling in wealthier countries. During the second half of the 20th century, deaths from diseases such as heart attacks…
Statins have improved the quality of life for many people who would have otherwise suffered debilitating cardiovascular disease. Statins have improved the quality of life for many people who would have otherwise suffered debilitating cardiovascular disease. Mykl Roventine

Some things you should know about statins and heart disease

Cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) causes the most deaths in Western countries overall and the vast majority of premature deaths. Drugs known as statins have been the cornerstone of how we…
A diet high in trans and saturated fats is strongly linked with coronary heart disease. A diet high in trans and saturated fats is strongly linked with coronary heart disease. Phil Burns

It’s not even debatable, saturated fat is bad for you

Earlier this week, the BMJ published an article claiming advice that saturated fat intake should be minimised to reduce heart disease is flawed. While this may sound tempting, it’s just not the case. The…
Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. garryknight

Proof that the Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

As life expectancies across the world steadily increase, the world’s population is inexorably ageing. Too often, with age comes difficult health problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These…
One in four Australians take fish oil but the latest evidence shows it won’t improve the health of your heart. One in four Australians take fish oil but the latest evidence shows it won’t improve the health of your heart. Flickr/wine me up

Monday’s medical myth: fish oil is good for heart health

Did you hold your nose and take your daily dose of fish oil this morning? Or perhaps you opted for an odour-free capsule? Well, you’re not alone. Around one in four Australians take fish oil supplements…
Cardiovascular disease accounts for more than 40% of all female deaths. Cardiovascular disease accounts for more than 40% of all female deaths. Nina Matthews

Ladykiller: the hidden danger to women’s health

Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of women in Australia. It accounts for more than 40% of all female deaths, which means it kills more Australian women than breast cancer and lung cancer combined…
Energy drinks are largely marketed to youths and young adults. Energy drinks are largely marketed to youths and young adults. hectore/Flickr

Energy drinks: a trigger for heart attacks and stroke?

When a 17-year-old girl, with a potentially life-threatening heart disorder, recently presented to me with an abnormally fast and irregular heart rhythm, I wondered how the natural history of her disease…
Approximately 53,000 people are affected by stroke each year, at the cost of $1.3 billion. Approximately 53,000 people are affected by stroke each year, at the cost of $1.3 billion. Axel Bührmann

Getting to the heart of the matter on stroke

A silent killer is stalking many families across Australia, taking victims with little notice while driving a black-hole in the country’s health budget. But a simple pulse check may be enough to detect…
The value of medical research extends beyond pure economics. The value of medical research extends beyond pure economics. Flickr/left hand

How does medical research deliver value for money?

The Federal Government’s main medical research funding body, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), last week announced its 2011 program and development grants, and postgraduate scholarship…
The cocoa in chocolate may be good for your health but the sugar and fat in it are counter productive. The cocoa in chocolate may be good for your health but the sugar and fat in it are counter productive. Peter Pearson

Treat or treatment? Chocolate is good but cocoa is better for your heart

A systematic review and meta-analysis of previous cohort studies on the effects of chocolate consumption has found that chocolate may be linked to a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. The…
The epidermal electronic system can measure your vital signs in a completely unobtrusive way. The epidermal electronic system can measure your vital signs in a completely unobtrusive way. John A. Rogers

Tattoo you: the stick-on medical revolution

When you think of tattoos you probably imagine bikies, celebrity tats or that Japanese flourish on your left foot that means “Honour” (or so you think). You probably don’t picture medical revolution…
Bariatric surgery has a dramatic effect on diabetes and other heart disease risk factors. Bariatric surgery has a dramatic effect on diabetes and other heart disease risk factors. Bariatric Solutions/www.mybariatricsolutions.com

Bariatric surgery: new paradigm in type 2 diabetes management?

Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing epidemic worldwide. By 2020, it is expected to be the number one disease in Australia in men and second only to breast cancer in women. Treating this illness has…
The UN General Assembly will discuss a global approach to combating non-communicable diseases in September. The UN General Assembly will discuss a global approach to combating non-communicable diseases in September. AAP

Leading light: why Australia should show the world how to combat lifestyle diseases

Australia has done well by international comparison in addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) over the past fifty years and while there remains much to do, we could play a leading role in the upcoming…
Heart attacks damage important muscles but now scientists think that a special protein can awaken the stem cells that grow new muscles. Heart attacks damage important muscles but now scientists think that a special protein can awaken the stem cells that grow new muscles. Flickr

Fixing a broken heart with stem cells

Vital heart muscles damaged during cardio arrest can be replaced by stem cells within the organ with the help of a special protein, scientists have discovered. Heart attacks cause dangerous damage to muscle…
People who exercise have a smaller risk of heart attacks despite larger salt intake. People who exercise have a smaller risk of heart attacks despite larger salt intake. lululemon athletica/flickr

Sodium study should be taken with a large pinch of salt

A recent article has questioned received wisdom regarding the adverse impact of salt on health. Unfortunately, naïve researchers and journal editors looking to stir up a controversy are confusing this…
People in the developing world are more likely to have lifestyle and infectious diseases. People in the developing world are more likely to have lifestyle and infectious diseases. AAP

How to combat the deadly epidemic of lifestyle disease

On Sunday, China banned smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars and other indoor spaces. But a lack of public understanding about the dangers of smoking in the nation of 300 million smokers…
Energy drink consumption is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Energy drink consumption is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Tambako the Jaguar/flickr

More research needed into energy drink link to heart attacks and disease

Over 3.5 billion cans of Red Bull are sold every year in over 120 countries, claiming the drink leads to “improved performance, concentration, vigilance and emotional status” (RedBull website). Other energy…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (14)

Dark chocolate improves heart health

Eating dark chocolate appears to improve cardiovascular health, new research shows. Researchers analysed 44 middle-aged overweight…

Call for stroke treatment review

Doctors are under-utilising crucial medication to prevent deadly strokes in those with a common type of heart condition…